Open Source Free Photographic Guides

27 07 2008

Today I was exploring a new location for a landscape shoot. I hadn’t seen any decent shots from this location, and in fact I’d never heard of it. I just happened to be cruising around on Google Earth and looking at a few of the Flickr photos that had been geocoded around this particular area. A few happy snaps, but no serious photos.

So today it was a lovely Sunday afternoon, so I took my son and we went exploring to recce this location. Turns out it is a very good location with a lot of potential… I’m going to shoot some dawn shots there next weekend. But on the way back I was thinking to myself… Wouldn’t it be cool if there was some sort of central registry where photographers could share their favorite locations with other photographers.

Some sort of Virtual Open Source Photographic Guide… A Wikipedia of Photo Guides…. Guides so rich in great photographic info, that it would help any photographer find great new locations to shoot, and improve their chances of getting great shots the first time by knowing when and where to shoot.

As I was hiking out with my son I was thinking about what it would take to create some sort of tool that others could use…. What would it need?

  • A simple authoring tool (know HTML or any of that stuff)
  • Free hosting (I didn’t want to pay for it)
  • A place to upload pictures or link to existing pictures on Flickr
  • A way of allowing others to post comments
  • A search engine so people can find your guides
  • A Comments capability that would allow others to comment (or ideally suggest updates) to guides that you post
  • A Rating system so readers could rate your guides.

That was my initial list. When I got home and reached for my blogging site, I saw an interesting little posting about Google’s new capability called Knols (chunks of knowledge)… and guess what… it pretty much perfectly met my criteria.

So I have started an experiment and written two Knols on photographic sites in Sydney that I know pretty well. I’d love to hear what you guys think.
1) A Photographer’s guide to Turimetta Beach
2) A Photographer’s guide to Mona Vale Pool

Take a moment to have a look at these guides and let me know if they contain the sort of information that you would like to see if you were going to visit a new site.

Imagine if we could get thousands of photogrphers to start documenting their favorite locations and becoming the “local expert”…. we would have the largest guide to photographers anywhere in the world!! What a great resource that would be!

Take care… and watch my photostream on Flikr for the cool new site I discovered on Sunday



Shutter Blending “Splash”

14 07 2008

I thought I would share another example of shutter blending. This photo is called “Splash”


When I saw this rock formation in the water, I totally pre-visualised this image…. I immediately saw three quite separate parts of the image in my mind.

1) A razor sharp foreground clearly showing the detail in the beautiful sand with the water providing lead-in lines to the rock.

2) Long exposure water to remove the distractions from the sea and focus instead on the colour and movement and allow you to concentrate on the gorgeous rocks

3) I was intrigued by the way the ocean was splashing up against the rock in the background, so I wanted to “freeze” a splash in mid air as a contrast to the long expsosed sea.

Executing this was pretty simple, 1/125 sec exposures for top and bottom images, then screw on the 10 stop ND filter for the middle exposure (about 20 sec from memory).

Blending was also pretty simple in Photoshop, couple of minutes with the Wacom tablet and I had some pretty seamless masks.

I’m enjoying the abstract possibilities of Shutter Blending. I’d love to see some examples of others experimenting with this approach